Summer holiday idea: Hidden Gems of New Zealand’s Wine Country

Driving through the Adelaide Barossa wine vineyards

Welcome, wine connoisseurs and enthusiasts, to an unforgettable journey through the verdant landscapes and rolling hills of New Zealand — a country globally acclaimed for its exceptional wines. With its diverse microclimates, unique soil profiles, and unyielding commitment to quality, New Zealand has positioned itself as a powerhouse in the world of viticulture. Our guide to the best wineries in the country will unveil the rich tapestry of experiences that await, from the internationally renowned vineyards of Marlborough to the burgeoning wine scene of Waipara Valley. So uncork your enthusiasm, as we embark on this vinous adventure together.

1.     Auckland

Casually known as the ‘gateway to New Zealand’, West Auckland is where kiwi wine began! As the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland boasts a vibrant wine region just a stone’s throw away from the bustling CBD.

Explore the historic Kumeu wine trail, where winemaking traditions have been passed down through generations, and savour world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

5 New Zealand wine regions worth saying cheers to - Starts at 60

2.     Hawke’s Bay

Sitting pretty on the eastern side of the North Island is Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand’s second-largest wine region. Known for its diverse range of wine varietals, this region boasts a Mediterranean climate, which is perfect for ripening red Bordeaux varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. It’s also a great place to explore Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and other white wine styles. In addition to the wine, Hawke’s Bay offers a beautiful landscape with stunning vineyard vistas, charming cellar doors, and a thriving food scene.

Did you know? Hawke’s Bay was awarded the tile of the 12th Great Wine Capital of the world in 2023!

Top 10 things to do in Hawke's Bay | 100% Pure New Zealand

3.     Marlborough

First up, head to New Zealand’s sunniest region for a wine tour by bike or even set out on foot in some areas, choosing from more than 30 cellar doors, tasting award winning wines along the way, almost all within a ten-minute drive from each other.

Did you know? Eighty-five per cent of Marlborough’s vineyards are dedicated to Sauvignon Blanc production. Marlborough also produces excellent Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling, waiting to be sipped!

Wine Marlborough | Region, Visit, Wineries, Events & News

4.     Waipara Valley

Just north of Christchurch on the South Island, the Canterbury/Waipara Valley wine region is gaining recognition for its quality wine production. It’s known for its cool-climate wines, particularly Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Chardonnay.

What makes this region special is its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, which influences the vineyards’ terroir. The unique soil types and climate conditions contribute to the production of elegant and distinctive wines. Consider visiting some of the boutique wineries in the Waipara Valley for a taste of what this region has to offer.

Things to do in Waipara | 100% Pure New Zealand

5.     Central Otago

If you’re a fan of Pinot Noir, then Central Otago is a must-visit destination. Situated in the South Island, this region is renowned for producing some of the world’s best Pinot Noir wines. The stunning landscape, with its dramatic mountains and pristine lakes, adds to the allure of Central Otago.

During the summer months, you can explore the region’s wineries, where Pinot Noir takes centre stage, but you’ll also find excellent Chardonnay and Riesling. The town of Queenstown, known for its adventure activities, is a great base for exploring the wineries in Central Otago.

Central Otago wine region - Wikipedia